Columbia, Md. - HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital forecasts strong OEM gains among automakers in 2011.
The company expects a total of 109 vehicle models will be available from 17 vehicle brands by the end of calendar 2011 with OEM HD Radios installed at the factory as standard or optional equipment. That's up from seven vehicle models in 2007 and 53 in calendar 2009.
Also by the end of 2011, iBiquity expects 54 of the 109 vehicle models will offer HD Radio as standard equipment.
Last year at this time, the company forecast that 80 vehicle models from 17 vehicle brands would offer HD Radio in 2010 and that 36 of those would offer HD Radio as standard equipment.
In other updates, iBiquity told TWICE that more than 2,100 stations had made the digital transition in 250 metro areas, up from more than 2,000 stations at this time last year and only 66 stations at the end of 2005. Though that's out of about 13,500 commercial and educational stations in the U.S., the 2,100-plus stations operate in markets serving more than 90 percent population of the U.S. population, up from a year-ago 85 percent, iBiquity said.
To broaden content diversity, many digital FM stations are multicasting anywhere from two to four programs simultaneously, effectively creating another 1,400 radio stations as of January 2011, up from a year-ago 1,128, iBiquity said.
Of about 1,800 FM HD Radio stations, most deliver song and artist metadata, and about 75 percent of those stations transmit the necessary ID codes to enable iTunes tagging, iBiquity said. These stations transmit metadata and ID codes on their multicast channels as well. Another 300 HD Radio stations are AM stations that could send metadata and ID codes if they broadcast music, iBiquity said.